Medina Journal-Register — PEMBROKE - Avenging a narrow season opening loss, the Lyndonville Tigers edged past the Buffalo Gladiators 12-7 Saturday in a key Northeastern Football Alliance football game at the Pembroke Town Park.
A pair of touchdown passes from quarterback Denver Mackintosh to Gary LeFrois keyed the offense and two interceptions by AJ Cleveland highlighted the defense for the Tigers which avenged an equally close 13-6 loss to the Gladiators in the first game of the season.
This one wasn't decided until Cleveland picked off his second pass of the evening with just nine seconds remaining as the Tigers made it six wins in a row to improve to 6-2.
The Gladiators, which slip to 5-2, did strike like lightning as an 83-yard pass completion on the first play from scrimmage set up a short touchdown run giving Buffalo a 7-0 lead less than three minutes into the game.
The Lyndonville defense got the ball back for the offense twice in Gladiator territory in the second quarter, first on a fumble recovery by Joe Luxon of a botched Buffalo punt return attempt and then on an interception by Brad Ralph. However, the offense couldn't capitalize as the first drive was stopped by a lost fumble and the second on downs.
Once again late in the quarter the Lyndonville defense registered another turnover on a fumble recovery by Jon Ostrander at the Gladiators 22 and this time the offense capitalized.
Rob Williams picked up 20 on a run and then two plays later Mackintosh hooked up with LeFrois for a five yard touchdown pass with just four seconds to go in the half.
The Gladiators though maintained a slender 7-6 lead as the extra point kick attempt failed.
The Tigers finally grabbed the lead at 12-7 as Mackintosh connected with LeFrois for what proved to be the game winning 22 yard touchdown pass with 4:34 remaining in the third quarter. A big kickoff return by Cleveland ignited that drive which also included runs of 10 and 15 yards by Mackintosh.
The Tigers defensive unit then did the rest stopping three Gladiator fourth quarter drives into Lyndonville territory.
Cleveland stopped the first with an interception at the Lyndonville 20.
Howie Wilson, Justin Miller, Ralph and Ostrander then took turns making key plays to stop the second Gladiators threat at the Tigers 30.
The Tigers defensive unit came up big one last time as good pressure by Ostrander forced an incompletion on first down and a couple of snaps later Cleveland made a victory clinching interception with just nine seconds remaining as the Tigers 30.
Lyndonville next hosts the Nickel City Dragons at 5 p.m. Saturday. The Tigers will again be looking to avenge an early season loss (48-8) at the hands of the Dragons.